Chilean Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oceana - Oceana USA
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April 1, 2011

Chilean Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Oceana

The good news just keep coming in Chile. Yesterday the Chilean Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit filed by the laboratory Veterquímica to prevent the Livestock and Agriculture Bureau (SAG) from disclosing information to Oceana.

The case began in 2009, when Oceana submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to SAG to access documents that the Bureau used to approve the use of quinolone-related antibiotics in Chile’s salmon farming industry. The SAG denied the information due to the opposition of the laboratories Veterquímica, Recalcine and Centrovet, the main suppliers of these chemicals in Chile. Now the SAG has until April 5th to disclose the documents that supported its decision to approve such antibiotics.

Quinolones are a family of antibiotics whose use on animals is forbidden in other countries – including those that import Chilean salmon – given their efficiency to fight diseases in humans and their specific capacity to produce bacterial resistance. Bacterial resistance is not only produced in salmon but also among bacteria in areas surrounding the farms, and also affects wild fish that are then sold in local markets. 

According to official data from the Ministry of Economy, in 2007 the salmon farming industry used 385,635 kilograms of antibiotics in Chile – 600 times more than what was used in Norway that same year – and 325,616 kilos in 2008.

Stay tuned, April 5th is only a few days away…